The current evolution and advances of modern medicine, along with the wide variety of informational sources available all around us, have made it possible for virtually everyone to have access to valuable information regarding strokes and how they can observe and be aware of initial symptoms on their own.
A stroke is a condition in which blood vessels are constricted, blocked, or ruptured, resulting in destruction of brain tissue and a lack of blood flow to the brain. This can cause partial or complete paralysis or even death. There are a variety of risk factors for strokes, including a higher risk for those over the age of 65, a higher risk for males than females, hereditary factors, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol (dyslipidemia), and smoking, among others.
However, if, through carefully observing your own symptoms, you notice you are experiencing any of the key symptoms or abnormalities, such as a drooping face or mouth, numbness or paralysis in one arm or hand, slurring or trouble speaking, etc., you should see a doctor immediately. The sooner you can get proper medical attention, the greater your chance of survival.
Additionally, calling an ambulance that can provide swift treatment on the go and/or receiving immediate treatment at a hospital well-equipped for such cases, and placing a priority on rehabilitation after a stroke, can go a long way toward preventing many of the potential long-term effects of a stroke on the brain.
Doctor’s diagnosis will begin with a careful review of your medical history, after which you’ll receive a thorough physical examination. Next, you may need to take additional diagnostic tests, such as a CT scan of the brain or a brain MRI, in order to determine the cause or identify which parts of the brain are affected by the stroke. This is important for determining the course of your treatment.
In the case of an ischemic stroke where there is a blockage of the blood flow to the brain, the doctor may consider treatment with thrombolytic drugs in order to help dissolve blood clots. In such a case, if treatment is carried out quickly, the patient may be able to return to their normal life after a full recovery. In the case of a stroke caused by carotid artery blockage due to fatty deposits, resulting in an inability of these important neck arteries to supply blood to the brain, the doctor may need to use a surgical procedure to remove plaque clogging the affected artery.
Despite studies showing that treatment and rehabilitation of stroke patients should take place as quickly as possible and that therapy must be carried out within 1 year of the stroke, the reality is that many patients are unable to undergo immediate rehabilitation, whether in the form of physical therapy or occupational therapy. The main factors preventing this timely care are an inability to travel, the lack of a caretaker, and financial or cost issues.
These issues are prevalent not only in Thailand but are found in almost every country throughout the world. To confront this issue, changes have been made in healthcare service systems. The initial phase includes the provision of physiotherapists to carry out therapy in patient’s homes. The high cost, however, has remained a problem.
This led to additional adjustments being made to the healthcare service system with the employment of telemedicine or, to use the more specific term, telerehabilitation. This solution helps to meet the patient’s needs not only with respect to distance, but also the lack of relatives or caretakers who are able to accompany patients to therapy. Telerehabilitation can be described as ‘remote patient treatment, rehabilitation, and follow-up using technology.’
Samitivej Hospitals has applied this technology in a tangible way that works. This includes the establishment of the Samitivej Virtual Hospital and the use of home monitoring, as well as the provision of services for stroke patients who require care, follow-up, and therapy, but for whom travel to and from hospital sessions may be inconvenient or difficult.
Our stroke care and rehabilitation program was created for just such cases, using remote tracking with our Stroke Telecare technology, allowing continued care of patients with partial or total paralysis after they leave the hospital. Our dedicated team of doctors, nurses and physical therapists are available through the 24-hour TeleCare system.
This service meets the needs of both patients and caregivers, and provides peace of mind for loved-ones. Our Virtual Hospital provides 24-hour video calling, even at night. In the case of any worrisome or abnormal symptoms, our hospital will send an ambulance to the patient’s home so they can receive immediate treatment.
In addition, our Personalized TeleRehab Physical Therapists can provide remote home visitation and individually tailored physiotherapy sessions via video call.
The service also includes Real-time Health Monitoring for recurrence prevention and risk reduction by our team of medical professionals, using medical equipment, long-distance monitoring and health tracking systems.
Stroke TeleCare is an effective medical service created especially for stroke patients in order to prevent recurrence, reduce fatalities, and minimize the expenses and inconveniences of travel. It also provides peace of mind for loved ones and family members working away from home. Caretakers simply need to learn how to communicate using our convenient technology, which is straightforward, easy to use, and allows for continued treatment planning with a doctor.
The Degree of Doctor of Medicine (with license from Thai Medical Council), Faculty of Medicine, Siri